Queen Elizabeth II is famously fond of two things: Corgis and hats. From pastel-colored pillboxes to polka-dot turbans to Cossack-style furballs, she’s rarely seen without some type of outfit-coordinated headgear. So it’s completely unsurprising that she was recently spotted hanging out near the hat display at the mall.
As The Cut reported, the queen dropped by British department store Fenwick on Friday for a private tour. (Express reported that she was visiting the town of Bracknell’s recently renovated town center.) Dressed in a Tiffany-blue coat-dress and (of course) a matching hat festooned with salmon-colored blossoms (it’s the same one she wore on her 91st birthday), she was photographed making a beeline for the hat department, where the staff showed off a selection of six royal wedding–worthy hats.
According to those present, the Queen is apparently branching out and taking risks with her hat aesthetic. “We showed her the Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat and she commented on its unusual teardrop shape and said she’d never worn that shape,” Angela Basten, Fenwick’s resident buyer of hats, told Express. The publication reported that the Trevor-Morgan hat in question is £895 (around $1,169), while another one she had her eye on, by Vivien Sheriff and decorated with partridge and goose feathers, goes for £995 (around $1,300). She was reportedly also taken with a purple hat shaped like a bowl. It is unclear whether she was successful in her hat search.
She did, however, seem to derive much enjoyment from her hat-centric excursion. Basten told Express that she even cracked a joke. “When we were looking at the Vivien Sheriff hat she said it would have been good for [Princess Eugenie’s] wedding because it wouldn’t have flown off—she was making reference to what a windy day it was,” she said, according to the Express.
A Brief History of Royal Wedding Dresses
Notably, for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank on October 12, 2018, Princess Eugenie chose to wear a dress by Peter Pilotto that specifically showed off the long scar down her back. The scar was from a major back surgery she underwent as a 12 year old, to cure scoliosis. Today, Princess Eugenie is the patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, the hospital that did her surgery. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
At her wedding in May 2018, Meghan Markle wore a gown by British designer Clare Waight Keller. Her veil featured embroidery of flora representing all 53 Commonwealth countries, as well as a poppy, the flower of Markle’s home state of California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Kate Middleton wore a custom gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, made in English and Chantilly lace and satin gazar, for her wedding to Prince William on April 29, 2011. The dress featured roses, lily, and shamrocks and was made using 19-century needlework techniques. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall wore an overcoat and dress designed by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine, with shoes by L.K. Bennett, for her wedding to Charles, the Prince of Wales, on April 9, 2005. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, wore a design by Samantha Shaw, and was able to take of the coat-like layer to reveal and evening gown for revelry after the official ceremony on June 19, 1999.
For wedding to Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on July 23, 1986, Sarah Ferguson wore a dress by Lindka Cierach, which was beaded with heart and anchor symbols. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Diana wore a silk taffeta gown with a 25-foot train, and a 153-yard long veil by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for her wedding to Prince Charles on July 29, 1981. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
For Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips ceremony in 1973, the princess wore a dress designed by Maureen Baker for Susan Small, and featured elegant draped sleeves. It was quite close to the wedding dress trends of the time.
A look at Princess Elizabeth, future Queen Elizabeth II, on her wedding day to Prince Philip on November 20, 1947. The fabric for the wedding dress had to be purchased using ration stamps, as in 1947, the British government was still rationing many products. The designer, Norman Hartnell, embroidered jasmine, lilac, and other flowers on the dress, whose design was said to be inspired by the Botticelli’s Primavera. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Inspired by the drop waist style ushered in by Coco Chanel, the embroidered gown was created by Queen Mary’s court dressmaker, Madame Handley Seymour, for Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon for her wedding to the Duke of York (and later George VI) on April 26, 1923. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.